A lot of people call me crazy for practicing family law – and I get it. Involving oneself in one of the most difficult and traumatic times of another person’s life certainly isn’t for everyone. But I’ve seen the devastating effect that divorce can have on families – and I want to change the process.
My passion for family law stems from when I was a law clerk to the Honorable Teresa A. Kondrup Coyle, the most experienced family law judge presently sitting on the bench in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County. During my tenure with Judge Coyle I read through and analyzed hundreds of lawsuits between divorced couples. I watched the stress and trauma caused by trials and litigation. I saw what worked, what didn’t, and developed an unmatched understanding of how cases are decided by judges in Court.
What shocked me most was the sheer amount of money individuals spent on unprofessional divorce lawyers – especially ones who do not focus on family law. One motion would cost EACH party thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars. Some custody disputes would even cost over $100,000.
In my mind, the motions and trials were often unnecessary, poorly prepared, and sometimes downright unethical. I believe that these people deserved better representation, and they should not have had to bankrupt themselves for it.
For me, family law extends well beyond working out the legal particulars at hand. Whether resolving financial issues, or issues involving children and custody, I’m looking out for my clients’ emotional and financial well-being. As a Monmouth county family attorney, I relish helping my clients resolve challenging conflicts in creative ways so that they can move forward with dignity and confidence.
Above all, I strive to resolve my clients’ cases efficiently and affordably. I do this by providing prudent and honest legal advice. As often as possible, I keep my clients’ cases out of court because I know that taking a case to trial can escalate emotional conflicts and have a negative impact on the children of the marriage. Trials are also a highly expensive and time consuming proposition – it can be years before you receive a final decision if you decide to take a case to trial.
Early on, I learned that being involved in the community is essential. My first introduction to family law came during law school when I provided pro-bono assistance through a program called Volunteer Lawyers Project. I provided indigent and low-income individuals pro-bono, family law legal services. During law school, I was also a contributing author to the Journal of Health and Biomedical Law. I wrote on subjects like same-sex parenting rights, and surrogacy.
After graduating from Suffolk University Law School, I was a law clerk to the Honorable Teresa A. Kondrup Coyle of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, Family Division. I dealt directly with a broad spectrum of family law matters, including custody, alimony, child support, post-judgment modifications, and domestic violence matters. Judge Coyle reinforced the importance of being involved in the local community, and successfully encouraged me to become involved in many professional organizations. Before starting my own firm, I was also an associate attorney for a prominent family law firm located in Red Bank, New Jersey.